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Caribbean Hurricane Damage

By August 29, 2007

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Hurricane Dean -- which peaked from August 20 to 22-- fortunately did not cause as much damage as a Category 5 hurricane might: Dean was the most intense storm in the Atlantic since Wilma hit Cancun in October 2005. Yet Dean did cause damage in the billions of dollars, and at least 42 deaths.

Families planning a vacation to Mexico's Caribbean (including Cancun and the Riviera Maya), or to a Caribbean island, may be wondering about hurricane damage from Dean.

Hurricane Dean

Hurricane season in the Atlantic officially started June 1, but August to October are peak months, and -- right on time-- August 2007 brought Hurricane Dean, the most intense storm since Hurricane Wilma hit Cancun in October 2005. Dean caused loss of life in several Caribbean countries, and damage mainly to crops and infrastructure.

Hurricane Dean then moved into the Yucatan region of Mexico, and continued, while losing force, to other parts of Mexico. Family vacationers may be particularly interested in the Cancun and the Riviera Maya areas, which have so many all-inclusive resorts. Tourists were evacuated from Cancun, but the area was not hit directly.
  • The Loco Gringo site has hurricane damage details about many individual resorts. Most had minor damage are still accepting guests. This site also has a way to donate to Hurricane Relief.
Another aspect of hurricane damage is the effect on beaches: Dean washed away large amounts of sand. Beaches shrink, rocks get exposed... Effects vary from one spot to another. The beach damage in Cancun is said to be much less than from Wilma in 2005 (which led to a $21M beach restoration project.) Best course of action is to check recent visitors' comments at a site like TripAdvisor, for info about individual resorts.

The hardest hit area of Mexico was the Costa Maya, just above Belize, and south of Riviera Maya towns such as Tulum and Playa del Carmen. A cruise ship port was severely damaged andcould remain closed for months.

Useful sites to check, ongoing, for hurricane damage:

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